Why I love my job – you never stop learning

Antimony Crystal

Yesterday, one of my senior accounting colleagues Angus Stewart and I left the office at 7am and drove up to central Victoria to a mine that extracts gold and antimony. I had never heard of this mineral which does appear on the Periodic table with an atomic number of 51. It symbol is Sb. I should have payed more attention during my high school chemistry class.

The mine has some of the purest in the world and the extracted material is all exported. The largest applications for metallic antimony are as alloying material for lead and tin and for lead antimony plates in lead-acid batteries. Alloying lead and tin with antimony improves the properties of the alloys which are used in solders, bullets, bullet proof vests, and plain bearings.  Antimony compounds are prominent additives for chlorine- and bromine-containing fire retardants found in many commercial and domestic products. An emerging application is the use of antimony in microelectronics.
How many other occupations would allow you to get in an see the opertions, the extraction process and then get in and understand the financial side of the business. Not only was all this necessary to allow Angus and I to provide meaningful advice to the client and their broker as part of a Policy Coverage and Business Interruption review, it exposed me to new information which I always find highly stimulating.
Speaking to Angus on the way back to our office, we both came away having learned something new and with the positive feeling that we were helping to ensure that this business which represented a large investment, not to mention the livelihood for a large workforce would be fully protected against disruption. The Insurer, who actually recommended the review will also be satisfied that the coverage is correct and they are receiving the correct premium for the risk being transferred to them.
When I got back to the office, I went into LMI RiskCoach expecting to have to write up some facts on antimony for future reference for brokers and underwriters but was really impressed to learn from Ian Fry one of our team that an extensive write up was already there.

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